By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw (Episode 1,484)
Providence, Rhode Island at Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Aired November 1, 2021 on USA Network
[Hour One] Raw opened with a video package on the Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair feud… Belair was warming up backstage when Sarah Schreiber approached her and asked her if tonight is the night the rivalry will come to a head.
Belair said she wasn’t ready at SummerSlam. She said it will make her stronger. Belair said Lynch has lost sight of what it takes to be a champion. She said Lynch is always trying to downplay her accomplishments while standing on the sidelines. Belair said this is the biggest match she’s been in. Belair made her entrance.
The broadcast team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside. Backstage Schreiber approached Lynch and said that Belair earned her way to the top while Lynch was out pregnant. Lynch gave Belair credit, then spoke about how hard it was for her to come back from her pregnancy. She mentioned hearing some boos and said it will motivate her to beat Belair again. Lynch made her entrance…
1. Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship. Ring announcer Mike Rome actually got to stand inside the ring while delivering introductions for the title match. Both wrestlers were cheered. Belair shoved Lynch to the mat. Lynch responded with a slap to the face and jawed at Belair, then ducked between the ropes when Belair moved toward her.
Belair put Lynch down and performed her handspring into the ropes into a standing moonsault, which led to a two count. The match spilled over to ringside where Lynch executed a jaw-jacker. Belair came back with a suplex on the floor heading into a commercial break. [C]
Lynch and Belair trade pin attempts and then Belair went for the Disarmer. Belair powered Lynch up onto her shoulder and then they both tumbled over the top rope to ringside heading into another break. [C]
Lynch went for the Disarmer again coming out of the break. Belair powered her up again, but Lynch rolled her over and sat on her for a one count. Belair rolled Lynch over and then powered her up and slammed her down before covering her for a near fall.
Belair pressed Lynch over her head and slammed her down. Belair followed up with the handspring standing moonsault again, but Lynch put her knees up. Lynch performed her Manhandle Slam finisher and had the pin, but Belair put her foot over the bottom rope.
Belair rolled to the floor. Lynch for a slide kick, but Belair caught her and dropped her onto the broadcast table. Back inside the ring, Belair covered Lynch for a two count and then tried again with the same result. Belair held up Lynch and slammed her face-first. Belair covered Lynch for a two count.
Belair went up top and went for a move that Lynch avoided. Belair landed on her feet. They fought in the corner. Belair went for the KOD, but Lynch held onto the top turnbuckle, which came off. Lynch slipped away and shoved Belair into the exposed turnbuckle, then rolled her up and held her tights while scoring the pin…
Becky Lynch defeated Bianca Belair in 18:40 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good match with a quality finish. It was good to see WWE deliver something they advertised for the opening segment. I thought this might end up being more of an angle than a match, and if we were lucky we’d get the actual match in the main event segment. Rather, they went ahead with the match and gave an actual pinfall finish that was done in a way that played into Lynch being a heel (she was still cheered afterward) and gave Belair an out for losing. You can’t really ask for more than that. The only negative is that they haven’t offered any hooks for the remainder of the show, as this was the only match advertised in advance.
Backstage, Kevin Patrick interviewed Rey Mysterio while Dominik Mysterio stood by. Austin Theory showed up and spoke about it being an honor to enter the ring with Rey, then said he would beat him like he beat his son. Rey said Theory wasn’t the first person to try to use him to make a name for themselves. He said he would show him why those names faded away while the Mysterio name lives on. Theory took a selfie and then the Mysterios made their entrance… [C]
2. Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. Austin Theory. Theory’s entrance was televised coming out of the break. A few minutes into the match, Theory put Rey in a Torture Rack and then stared at Dom until he dropped down to his knees. Theory held the ropes open to taunt Dom, then hit his father with a really nice dropkick. Theory covered Rey for a two count.
The match spilled to ringside. Theory picked up Rey over his shoulder. Dom spun his father’s legs around and Rey hit a DDT on the floor. [C] Rey and Theory fought on the ropes. Rey slipped back in the ring and pulled Theory’s legs out from under him.
Rey used a head-scissors to send Theory into the corner. Rey performed a senton and a springboard cross body block and covered Theory for a two count. Theory rallied and hit Dom with a kick through the ropes. Theory went for a powerbomb, but Rey performed a huracanrana. Dom slapped Theory right before Rey hit the 619. The referee called for the DQ rather than count Rey’s pin.
Austin Theory defeated Rey Mysterio by DQ in 10:30.
After the match, Theory went to ringside and took selfies with the ring behind him…
Powell’s POV: Another good match. This was a smart DQ finish and not just a throwaway DQ finish. It gives Theory a win, protects Rey, and creates another issue between Rey and Dom. Raw is off to a really good start tonight.
A video package recapped Seth Rollins winning last week’s four-way ladder match to become No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship…
Seth Rollins made his entrance holding the contract that he won last week… [C] An ad aired for WWE Tribute to the Troops airing the afternoon of Sunday, November 14 on Fox…
Rollins said the fans know that he’s not the type of person to toot his own horn. Rollins said he was there with a purpose. “But while I’m here, let me tell you that I am on top of the world,” he said before cackling with laughter. Rollins boasted about winning last week’s ladder match.
Rollins said Raw is his show and he was drafted there to be the face of it. He said the only thing missing is the WWE Championship, but his contract essentially guarantees that he will win the title. Rollins teased reading the contract, but he was interrupted.
WWE Champion Big E made his entrance. He said he came out to congratulate Rollins last week, but Rollins laughed in his face. Big E said his aunt told him that there’s something deeply wrong with Rollins’ mind.
[Hour Two] Rollins recalled challenging Big E to a title match last week only to be told that he had to go earn it. Rollins said he offered Big E a handshake that he didn’t accept. Rollins put over Big E’s wins over Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre. Rollins said Big E isn’t on his level.
Rollins said Big E doesn’t want the responsibility of being champion. He said he could take the title off his shoulder and then Big E could go back to being a joke with his friends. He called King Woods a joke and laughed about KofiMania.
Big E wasn’t pleased with the KofiMania jab, but he said he would give Rollins everything he wants. Big E offered him a WWE Championship match during the show. Rollins worked up the crowd about having the match in front of them and then pulled the rug out, claiming that he wasn’t 100 percent after last week’s ladder match. Rollins said the WWE Championship match would happen on his terms when he’s 100 percent.
Kevin Owens made his entrance. Rollins got upset about Owens interrupting his time. Owens put over Big E as a great champion and said Rollins thinks he’s the face of Raw because he’s a delusional dumbass. Owens brought up Becky Lynch claiming to be the face of Raw and having a valid point.
Owens pointed to his own face and said it should be considered the face of Raw. Owens congratulated Rollins on winning the match, but he said the thing people were talking about was his own performance in the match.
Owens said he leaves everything in the ring and it didn’t work out for him last week and he can’t remember the last time it did work out for him. He said it doesn’t matter because he keeps fighting. “It might be for three more months or three more years,” Owens said he would give the fans something to remember.
Owens said that if Rollins didn’t want the match, then he should get the hell out of the ring so that he could face Big E for the first time ever. Rollins said he loved the idea. Big E said Owens made a hell of a point in saying that they’d never had a match. “It’s on, sucker,” Big E said emphatically…
Powell’s POV: Another strong segment. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve enjoyed the first hour and change of Raw this much. I doubt it’s going this way, but I would enjoy an Owens heel turn and alliance with Rollins. That said, he teased it in his promo, he’s stated that deal is expiring soon, so I can’t blame WWE if they don’t want to invest that much in him if he’s still unsigned.
Highlights aired from earlier in the day of Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella talking in the backstage area. They praised one another until they bumped into Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH. Vega condescendingly praised ASH’s mask, then they walked away and the heels mocked her for making the mask herself. Ripley and ASH stopped them. ASH challenged them to a match, which the heel duo accepted…
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH made their entrance for the apparent non-title match… [C] The broadcast team hyped Big E vs. Owens for later in the show… Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella made their entrance…
3. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH vs. Zelina Vega and Carmella in a non-title match. Carmella went to ringside and had her assistants put her mask on. Saxton said the mask was horrifying. Carmella slapped Ripley, who responded with a headbutt. Liv Morgan, Doudrop, Dana Brooke, and Tamina were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Vega and Carmella ended up at ringside. ASH dove onto them from the apron. [C]
Carmella shoved Ripley face first into the ring post and then ran her into the barricade. In the ring, ASH blocked a move by Vega. Carmella returned to the apron and held ASH, which was followed by Vega performing a Code Red on ASH and pinning her…
Zelina Vega and Carmella beat WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Rhea Ripley and Nikki ASH in 8:15 in a non-title match.
Smith and Saxton encouraged fans to vote to keep The Miz on Dancing with the Stars. Graves said he wanted Miz back on Raw and questioned why he couldn’t do both shows…
Backstage, Chad Gable and Otis spoke with Big E. Gable said Big E doesn’t have what it takes to be the face of Raw, but he could with his coaching. Big E said not if it meant Gable wanted him to become “a walking thumb like Otis.” Gable boasted that he graduated from Full Sail University with a master’s degree and was class valedictorian. Gable told E not to blame him when it becomes Monday Night Rollins again. Gable told Big E to watch him turn the prince into a peasant when he faces Finn Balor…
Finn Balor made his entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: The women’s tag match brought things down a bit. It wasn’t terrible or anything, it just wasn’t as entertaining as everything from the show that led up to it. For those unaware, Gable’s boasts about his work at Full Sail are actually true.
A Veer Mahaan video package aired. He was listed as “coming to Raw”…
Powell’s POV: Congratulations to Veer for being the rare WWE wrestler to gain a last name rather than lose one.
4. Finn Balor vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis). Gable’s entrance was televised. Graves put over Gable’s academic work on commentary. Balor performed a standing double stomp and followed up with a sling blade. Balor went for a dropkick, but Gable avoided it.
Gable applied the ankle lock. Balor teased tapping, then rolled out of it and applied an armbar. Gable countered back into the ankle lock. Balor rolled Gable over and double stomped him. Balor sold an ankle injury when he stood up for a moment. Gable performed a pair of suplexes on Balor for a near fall.
Gable went up top and performed a moonsault, but Balor put his knees up. Balor sold the bad leg, then performed a running dropkick. Balor held his knee and then went up top for his finisher, but Gable cut him off and superplexed him. Balor hooked Gable in an inside cradle and got the pin. Otis ran in, but Balor quickly escaped to ringside…
Finn Balor defeated Chad Gable in 5:45.
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. Unfortunately, the live crowd had no reason to take Gable seriously, so they just didn’t react to most of his near falls.
Highlights aired from last week of Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler winning a Triple Threat to earn a Raw Tag Title match, then losing to RKBro later in the night…
Riddle was shown riding his scooter in the back and being stopped by Roode and Ziggler. They stopped him from telling cornball jokes and then spoke about how they would face The Street Profits. They said Riddle and Randy Orton could kiss the titles goodbye if they get another title shot… The Street Profits made their entrance… [C]
A video package aired on Titus O’Neil having an elementary school in Florida named after him…
Powell’s POV: Congratulations to Titus. When I was growing up, it seemed like the only people who had schools named after them were dead presidents.
5. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Randy Orton and Riddle came out and sat in on commentary. Roode teased performing a draping DDT, but Dawkins dumped him to ringside. When Ziggler tried to sneak up on Dawkins, Ford took him out with a running leap from the ring steps. [C] Dawkins was isolated by the heels.
[Hour Three] Ford took a hot tag and performed a cross body block from the top rope on Roode. Ford threw some strikes at Roode and then put him down with a step-up enzuigiri. Ford followed up with a Blockbuster and had the pin, but Ziggler broke it up.
Ford sent Ziggler to ringside. Roode rolled up Ford for a two count, then Ford returned the favor. Ziggler tagged in. Roode used a slingshot to send Ford to Ziggler, who DDT’d him. Ziggler covered Ford and had him beat, but Dawkins returned to break it up.
Roode and Ziggler took Dawins to ringside and ran him into the ring post. Ford performed a flip dive onto both opponents. Ford rolled Ziggler back inside the ring and set up for his finisher. Omos made his entrance and distracted Ford. Ziggler pinned Ford seconds later.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler defeated “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in 10:55.
After the match, Dawkins went after Omos, who knocked him down. Ford dove from the ring at Omos, who caught him and threw him into the barricade. Riddle got up to go after him. Orton tried to stop Riddle, who broke away. Omos ended up picking up Riddle and dropping him on the apron. Orton got fired up, but they oddly cut to footage of Damian Priest beating up T-Bar last week…
Powell’s POV: The production team completely missed the finish of the tag match. They showed Ford in the ring, cut away, and then cut back when Ziggler was pinning him. I’m assuming that Ziggler hit him with the Zigzag. That was followed by Orton getting fired up and removing his jacket only to have them cut away right at the peak of the crowd’s enthusiasm to show the recap video. Strange.
Backstage, Kevin Patrick asked Damian Priest what happened and noted that the side he showed last week was something he hadn’t shown before. Priest said that side has always been there. He said that if you disrespect him, he’ll go to a dark place and take you with him. He spoke of facing T-Bar in a No DQ match and said T-Bar had a chance “to get very acquainted with the Damian in me.” Priest made his entrance…
A WrestleMania ad aired for tickets going on sale on Friday, November 12. Steve Austin narrated the video for the two-night event in the Dallas area… [C]
6. U.S. Champion Damian Priest vs. T-Bar in a non-title, No DQ match. T-Bar’s entrance was televised. A pre-tape aired with T-Bar saying that Priest is a fraud and he exposed his true colors last week. The match quickly spilled over to ringside. Priest pulled a table out from underneath the ring and slid it inside the ring. T-Bar took offensive control and set up the table on the floor.
Priest and T-Bar fought near the table. T-Bar went for a powerbomb, but Priest fought his way free. Priest threw a big boot that T-Bar dodged before shoving him into the ring post. T-Bar returned to the ring and pulled Priest onto the apron. T-Bar went for a big boot, but Priest moved and threw a kick of his own.
Priest went up top and was cut off by a T-Bar kick. T-Bar climbed to the middle rope and put Priest on his shoulders and then performed a Samoan Drop into the ring. [C] Priest took offensive control and performed a broken arrow for a two count. Priest went to the ropes and was caught by T-Bar, who chokeslammed him onto his knee and then covered him for a two count.
T-Bar tied up Priest in the ropes and then grabbed a kendo stick from ringside and beat him with it repeatedly. Priest caught T-Bar with a kick and then freed himself from the ropes. Priest turned T-Bar inside out with a clothesline. Priest grabbed a chair and slammed it over T-Bar’s back and side repeatedly.
Priest chokeslammed T-Bar from the apron through the table on the floor. Priest made his crazy face while the fans chanted “one more time.” Priest got T-Bar back inside the ring, hit the Reckoning, and pinned him.
U.S. Champion Damian Priest defeated T-Bar in 13:00 in a no DQ, non-title match.
After the match, Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez came out. Crews introduced himself and Azeez, and said they have come to breathe new life into Raw. Crews said he and Priest would be properly acquainted soon enough and Priest would lose the U.S. Championship to him…
Powell’s POV: I could do without them trying to play it up as “demonic” seemingly only because his name is Damian, but I like the other side of Priest that they’ve established over the last two weeks. Both men worked really hard. It continues to be a shame that the company hasn’t ditched the T-Bar name and gimmick. Perhaps the hard work of Dominik Dijakovic will make them reconsider.
John Morrison was meditating on top of a production crate when Reggie showed up. They spoke briefly. R-Truth grabbed Reggie from behind. Reggie escaped. Akira Tozawa showed up too. Reggie escaped. Truth and Tozawa bickered. Drake Maverick showed up and they bickered with him. Truth said if they don’t change it up, he might have to give up…
A Becky Lynch promo was listed as coming up after a break… [C] The Smackdown recap video aired… Highlights aired of the Raw Women’s Championship match…
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber on the backstage interview set. Lynch said half the crowd was booing her and accused them of being fickle. She said there’s nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to remain a champion. She said it’s time for Belair to go to the back of the line to make room for someone new to come up. Liv Morgan entered the picture. Lynch looked at her, shrugged her shoulders, and walked away…
In another part of the backstage area, Seth Rollins approached Kevin Owens about working together. Rollins offered Owens the first shot after he wins the title. Owens reached with a hilariously over the top gasp. Owens said he didn’t think Rollins would like it if he got in his business. Rollins told him to just keep fighting like he did when he lost the four-way ladder match. “I’ll just keep winning,” Rollins said with a laugh…
Big E made his entrance for the main event… [C] Becky Lynch, Finn Balor, Robert Roode, and Dolph Ziggler were listed as the guests for Raw Talk… Kevin Owens made his entrance…
7. WWE Champion Big E vs. Kevin Owens in a non-title match. Graves said Owens is reinvigorated and a different man compared to what he’s been over the last few months. Owens performed a cannonball dive off the apron onto Big E at ringside and then followed up with a senton. Seth Rollins made his entrance. [C]
Rollins sat at ringside. Owens went up top and performed a Swanton for a near fall. “He kicked out,” Rollins told the broadcast team with a smile. Big E rallied with a uranage slam and covered Owens for a near fall. Big E placed Owens on the top rope and joined him by standing on the middle rope. Owens knocked him down with a headbutt.
Owens went for another Swanton, but Big E put his knees up. Owens rolled to the apron. Big E speared him through the ropes and both men tumbled to the floor. Rollins stood up and applauded. Big E rolled Owens back inside the ring and powered him up for his finisher, but Owens slipped off and they butted heads.
Rollins hit Big E with a cheap shot while the referee was checking on Owens. Owens covered Big E for a two count, but then Big E hooked Owens’ arms into a pin and got the three count.
WWE Champion Big E defeated Kevin Owens in 12:50 in a non-title match.
After the match, Big E watched the replay on the big screen and called out Owens on trying to take the pin despite seeing what Rollins did to him. Owens got a mic and told him that he didn’t know what Rollins did to him. Owens apologized to Big E, then told Rollins that it was all his fault and called him a stupid son of a bitch. Owens challenged Rollins to a match for next week. “We’ll see who’s laughing then, bitch,” Owens said.
Owens went back to apologizing to Big E and said that he was truly sorry. Big E picked up Owens and put him down with his Big Ending finisher. Rollins smiled as he watched from the stage. Big E turned his focus to Rollins and they jawed at one another. Big E then knelt down by Owens and told him that he knows exactly who he is…
Powell’s POV: A good main event with an intriguing finish. It came off like Owens tried to take advantage of Rollins interfering. It didn’t seem like they were in cahoots as much as the Owens character was just taking advantage of the situation once it presented itself, but Big E hitting him with his finisher after the match could obviously be a turning point for the Owens character.
Overall, while the show couldn’t maintain the momentum of the strong opening hour and change for the full three hours, it never sunk to the lows that so many Raw shows that were held in months leading up to the draft did. Raw has a deeper roster than Smackdown and they are putting it to good use so far. I will be back within the hour with my weekly same night Raw audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.